It’s 2 AM in the morning and the bus rolls down the highway crossing Vidyasagar Setu towards Satragachi, our bus driver Sydney, as the name suggest is half Australian and yes it’s his real name drives to our next destination. A big “thud” and Sydney slams the brake to a stop. “Tyre Puncture” he exclaims creating the perfect climax to the night Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour.
This is not how it all started but let me wind back 12 hours exactly, returning back from office I chanced upon Anthony who asked me to accompany him for the very first Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour – exploring the heritage of Kolkata on a bus at night. I have been to quite a few heritage locations around the town and also been to many of the Ghost Walks but never ever been to any night bus tour. This was something I would never want to miss.
The day started real early, even though it was a Sunday the work at home was no less. It started with a heritage walk at around 7.30 in the morning followed by other engagements and finally it came to Jane’s Walk. By now I was really tired but I somehow convinced myself to push on for the day as I knew it would be something really different.
The walk on this evening the 8th of May 2016 was in memory of Jane Jacobs. Before we go any further it’s important to get some details about her and why was this walk dedicated to her. Jane Jacobs (1916 – 2006) was a very famous Canadian / American journalist but apart from this, she was an activist. Throughout her life, she fought for the life of a neighbourhood. She believed in the essence of every neighbourhood and its own uniqueness that it holds on its own along with its people.
It was the second Instameet conducted Calcutta Instagrammers that I was attending on a dull grey March morning. The date was 6thof March 2016 and nearly six months back I had participated in my first Instameet. Things were quite different this time, unlike the first meet, this time, there were quite a few known faces and more than that there were many friends who I had acquired from the last Instameet.
This walk was organised on behalf of Turtle by Calcutta Instagrammers team and the theme for the day was “Graffiti” or you can say street art. The start point was Indian Museum and from there we will move to New Market and Sudder Street area which is slowly becoming a graffiti hub in this city.
Have you seen a ghost? If not then read on, if yes then you are a prized possession and need to be in a museum. Just kidding, we are all scared of ghosts but most want to see them for once at least. Calcutta has a rich colonial history and being a relatively old city it has a good share of ghost-infested locations. Most of them are the old Sahibs who still haunt their old workplace or their residence.
A good friend of mine has recently come up with a fantastic walk of the city at the dead of night. He calls it the “Ghost Walk”. No, you don’t get to walk along with them but to walk along with a group to meet these friendly night beings.
10th of January 2016 was the first event of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016 (AKLF). As a part of this event a Heritage Walk was organized at College Street by Streets of Calcutta and this was conducted by a good friend of mine and a very renowned heritage blogger Mr Rangan Dutta.
If there is a family wedding or any occasion in the family I used to keep hearing someone who has been given the responsibility to get fresh flowers from the Howrah Flower Market, later I came to know that this market is actually known as Mullick Ghat Flower Market. Whatever it may be but I never managed to visit this place, one of the main reason may be that this market is at its full bloom in the early hours of the morning something which is way beyond my imagination since I am not that an early riser. Years passed by but I never had been to the Flower Market of Kolkata.